Student loyalty in higher education sector helps college administrators to establish appropriate programs that promote, establish, develop and maintain successful long-term relationships with both current and former students. The purpose of this study is to propose the use of mediation model that links service quality and student loyalty via student satisfaction and test the direct and indirect effects of service quality on student loyalty with the mediation role of student satisfaction.
The study used survey research design and collected data from three oldest state universities in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to find the relationships between service quality, student satisfaction and student loyalty in higher education sector using structural equation modeling.
This study tested the proposed research model and proved the mediator role of student satisfaction between service quality and student loyalty. Service quality has been found to be an important input to student satisfaction. The result also shows that while university provides no basis for differentiation among the constructs, age and gender play a major role in determining the different perceptions of students about the constructs investigated.
The study focuses on student satisfaction, of which service quality is an important antecedent. Identification of other variables, besides service quality, is crucial to contribute to the overall student satisfaction. Similarly, it is just as critical to identify the other elements like value, image or institution reputation which may have direct impact on service loyalty. It would be more precise when the studies also consider the opinion of the students before joining the institute based on word of mouth of passed-out students and after finishing the course. Longitudinal studies to collect predictor and criterion variables before and after the course would be much stronger.
A clearer understanding of the relationship between service quality, satisfaction and loyalty that helps ensure the management to take better strategies to concentrate and improve the performance is aided by this study. It is interesting to note that the student loyalty is primarily affected by age and gender. This type of analysis helps to identify the target students who have high potential of defection.
Higher education and their respective institutions seek to enhance socio-cultural and economic development to promote active citizenship by inculcating ethical values among students. The Indian higher education institutions are facing enormous issues related to quality in education. The changing nature and need of higher education services and an increase in competitive intensity necessitates higher performance levels in the realm of Indian higher education (universities). These can be achieved through a thorough understanding of the expectations of students and the importance placed by them on aspects found by the study such as teaching, administrative services, support services, hostel facilities, library and lab facilities and internationalization.
Previous studies have proved the mediation role of satisfaction between service quality and loyalty in marketing literature, but no significant studies have empirically tested the same in higher education sector. The service quality measurement in higher education is complex because of some unique features like customers’ (student) cognitive participation in the service process, the needs of the students being fulfilled by different parties, long-term and continuous services. The study contributes to the existing field of knowledge by providing support for the contention that student satisfaction performs a mediating role in the link between service quality and student loyalty in higher education sector.
Annamdevula, S. and Bellamkonda, R.S. (2016), "The effects of service quality on student loyalty: the mediating role of student satisfaction", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 446-462. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-04-2014-0031Download as .RIS
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